New York based MC TK The Architect has spent his life finding a balance. Raised by a Japanese mother and an Italian-American father, TK grew up in a bilingual household. Proudly a product of his surroundings, the diversity of his heritage is an essential part of who he is.
His newest release, Blue Season, is due out April 29th. It is a full length release that TK recorded over the last year and a half.
Proudly playing most of the instruments on the album, TK takes as much pride in his guitar parts as he does his verses. Anything he didn’t play was recorded by a member of his band The Get Back Kids, a closer group of TK’s friends.
“I genuinely feel that no one could have made this record but me…This is the first time I found a way to connect everything I do, as a musician/producer and as an MC.”
To his credit, TK The Architect has a very raw, fresh and genuine sound. He sounds something like the mix of Hoodie Allen, Childish Gambino and Chance The Rapper. At its core, the new music is indie rap with live instrumentation.
The first release off his upcoming album, “Wait Up Slow Down,” showcases TK’s ability to craft a groovy guitar riff, a bumping bass line with a very tight beat. You can stream the premiere of the track below.
Casablanca Sunset: How long have you been making music?
TKTA: Somewhere around 16+ years now. Music’s been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember.
CS: How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it before?
TKTA: I usually use the term “indie-hop.” Indie music that’s clearly rooted in hip-hop but has a lot of outside influences. I do my best to highlight those different influences in my music.
CS: Who are some of your favorite artists?
TKTA: It’s a super wide spectrum that changes regularly. Lately I’ve been bumping a lot of The Strokes, Ratatat, and Cosmo’s Midnight. While making the record, The Roots, Toro Y Moi, St. Vincent, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest were in rotation.
CS: I hear you are going to release a full length album in April. Can you tell us more about it?
TKTA: It’s called Blue Season, and it comes out April 29th. I spent a lot of my life balancing playing guitar in bands and doing my hip-hop music, and Blue Season is the first time I found a perfect balance of the two. It’s definitely still hip-hop, but I play guitar on every song and put a lot of pride into the instrumental component. It was a different experience building the beats, writing these various parts and then writing lyrics to it. There are instrumental interludes on the album, where my guitar had more to say than I did, so instead of rapping I just wrote guitar melodies. I think as a whole, the result is something that is uniquely me, and I’m excited to share it. I’ve been working on it for more than a year now, so the fact that it’s finally coming out is really exciting!
CS: Any collaborations on the album worth mentioning?
TKTA: The entire record features my band The Get Back Kids. It was important to me that the album had a ton of live instrumentation, so anything I didn’t play myself was done by them. I wanted the album to maintain a consistent feel and tone, and my good friend/co-producer Joe Villafane had a big part in keeping it cohesive. The album’s definitely not a traditional hip-hop album in the sense of feature verses or outside producers, but the collaborative element is definitely apparent throughout the songs.
CS: Plans for the rest of 2016, after album’s release?
TKTA: The band and I are just trying to play as many shows as we can surrounding the release, and our goal is to be playing out-of-state as soon as possible. I have some new music in the works already, but that probably won’t see the light of day for a while. I may drop some more hip-hop based things, like a mixtape or two in the mean time, but for now the focus is on getting Blue Season in as many hands as possible and bringing our live show everywhere we can.
Thanks TK! For more on TK The Architect visit his Soundcloud page here.